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Not Buying It

Last weekend, I began re-watching Lost.

Do you remember this series?

I sure did love it when it originally aired, and I sat, captivated, from the first episode through the final one.

I have sat, for hours, watching the episodes again and have, I think, finished through #14 of the first season.

I can feel my butt getting bigger from all of the couch-sitting I’m doing, but hey, I’ve been in desperate need of relaxation, and this is one of the ways I do it.  Plus, I can knit to my heart’s content.

Anyhoo…

It’s interesting when you watch something multiple times.  It’s similar to rereading a book.  You catch things you didn’t notice the first time around.  You’re able to focus on subtle themes.

The last couple of days, I’ve found myself drawn to the personal stories of each character.  If you’re not familiar with the series, each episode includes a survivor’s back story that explains the events that led up to that person’s arrival on the island.  The back story always has something to do with what he/she is currently experiencing on the island.

Now, allow me to switch gears a bit.  I promise to bring my different thoughts together.

In other areas of my life…

Every Friday night, the Mr. and I attend Small Group.  Our church has a bunch of different small groups that meet each week.  Each small group grows close as they work to draw closer to God through fellowship and discussion.

I’ve mentioned that my church is currently studying the book, Life’s Healing Choices:  Freedom From Your Hurts, Hang-ups, and Habits

This past Friday night, one of the questions we went around answering was something like, “What lies have you bought into and how have they affected you?”

Oh yeah.

There were crickets, let me tell you, for it was deep and required much thinking.

It was an easy question for me.  I have bought into so many lies that Satan hardly has to open up his mouth before I find myself consumed by his deception.

My desire to overachieve is a lie the evil one whispers in my ear.  He tells me that I won’t be accepted unless my lesson plans are perfect, my emails are grammar-free, and I’m at least a solid week ahead in planning.  This has frequently led me to stay up until 1 or 2am working.

Body image is another area in my life that is filled with lies.

I watched my mom struggle with her own body image…to the point where, I suspect, she was bulimic.  She was always dieting, frequently threw up after meals, and was forever exercising or chewing gum so she wouldn’t gain weight.

When I was a teenager, I used to go on starvation diets during the summer.  They never lasted long…probably not more than a day or two, but I wanted to be skinny.

The older I’m getting, the louder the whispering has gotten in my ear.

“You’ve got a roll of flab around your middle.”

“Delete that picture.  Your stomach looks pooched out in it.”

Overweight people sometimes act as if they’ve cornered the market on worrying about weight, but those of us who don’t struggle with that still carry our own anxieties…all brought about because of the lies the devil feeds us…through the media and peer pressure.

Another lie I bought into was that if I behaved perfectly, did everything I was supposed to do, my mom would love me as much as my sister.  This resulted in years of unfulfilled expectations and great, great angst.

As I’ve watched each episode of Lost this past week, I’ve empathized with each character.

Locke was told he would never be able to do anything because he was in a wheelchair.  The island gave him a fresh start with legs that weren’t paralyzed.  He was free from the lie he’d been told.

Charlie was told that he would never be able to take care of anyone else because he was a junkie pre-island life.  Meeting Claire helped him reinvent himself because she spoke the truth of his kindness to him.

Jack lived in the shadow of his successful, yet extremely dysfunctional alcoholic father and never felt he was loved.  It’s going to take the entire six seasons before he discovers the whopper of a tale his father had told him…that in fact, he was loved and appreciated.

For the characters in this show, the island becomes the catalyst for change in their hearts.

For me, God is that catalyst.

He doesn’t whisper the truth.  He proclaims it loudly from the empty cross, on which His Son selflessly sacrificed Himself.

Christ’s death tore the temple’s veil in half and removed the barrier between God and man.

What that means for me is that Satan has no hold over me.

His lies carry no weight.

They are worthless.

God’s love is priceless.

His grace is endless.

That is why I’m going to work hard to remind myself not to buy into whatever lies the devil tries to throw my way.

Three Jacks and a Hodgepodge

Joyce has some Halloween-themed questions this week!  Thanks, Joyce, for always putting some fun, whether or not it’s a holiday, into my week!

1.  What’s something you’re dealing with that might be described as tricky?

This year, I am teaching Intensive Reading, English, and Writing to my tenth grade students.  In the past, I’ve only had to focus on one of these subjects.  Putting the three together is very tricky because there just isn’t enough time in the day and week to do everything.  I am an overachiever.  I am also a very slow, methodical teacher.  I want to do things well and correctly.  To be responsible, in large part, for my students’ graduation requirement (FCAT) as well as their statewide writing test is a very overwhelming task that looks easy from the outside but is very, very difficult when actually in the classroom.  Oh, and don’t forget that I teach struggling readers.  Yes.  This is very tricky indeed.

2.  What’s your treat of choice?

Rather than select something edible, I’m going for a luxury, such as a morning to sleep in.  That’s definitely my treat of choice!

3.  Did you/will you carve a jack-o-lantern this month? Which real (living or dead) or fictional ‘Jack’ would you most like to meet in person? Why?

I will not carve a jack-o-lantern this month or ever if I can help it.  I find the innards disgusting and am not very coordinated.  I think I would do more harm to myself than a pumpkin if I even tried to carve it.

If I could meet a fictional “Jack,” I think I’d like to meet Jack Bauer (24).

Save the world and then come home to me, Jack!

Oh wait.  Make that Jack Shephard (Lost).

I want to get lost just so he can help me find my way home!

On second (or make that third) thought, Jack Ryan (Tom Clancy hero).

Oh Harrison…I mean Indiana…errrr…Jack…I’d let you rescue me no matter that name you’d be going by on that particular day!

Ok.  Let’s just face it.  I’m a sucker for a strong, handsome hero who has an obligation to do the right thing.

4.  In your opinion, what’s the grossest sounding word in the English language?

I absolutely cannot stand the sound of someone puking.  Hearing someone gag makes me want to upchuck as well.  Blech.

5.  When did your heart last skip a beat?

Um, hello?  Didn’t you just scroll past three pictures above?

Yeah.  That’s what I thought.

6.  Monster Mash by Bobby ‘Boris’ Picket, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon, or Ray Parker Jr.’s Ghostbusters…your favorite ‘scary’ tune?

I love Monster Mash because it’s got an old-timey feel to it, but Jennifer Garner made me love Thriller when she danced to it in the movie 13 Going on 30.  This scene continues to make me laugh.  In fact, I remember watching it for the first time in the theater with Chicky.  I laughed so hard that I had tears streaming down my face.

We should all indulge our inner child, should we not?

7.  It was a dark and stormy night when______________________________.

It was a dark and stormy night when Jack Bauer, Jack Shephard, and Jack Ryan showed up at AuburnChick’s house, alerted by her distress signal, a neon green “J” that she had flashed into the sky.  They had come to rescue her from the dreary storms of lesson planning, which were far scarier than the hurricane-force winds blowing outside her window.

8.  My Random Thought

This will be the first year that I have not handed out candy at Halloween.

Oh, I’ll be home, but I’m choosing to keep my light off this year.

I have endured, for many years, the barking of my dogs every single time the doorbell rings.  It takes forever to hush them, and by the time I do, the next round of children are ringing it again.  Although I enjoy seeing the costumes, listening to the dogs bark is miserable.

I think I’ll use the money I would have spent on candy to buy cupcakes for my students.  They deserve a treat for being so good the day I had a sub (when I went to visit Chicky for Senior Night).

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